1.0 Details of the business
Gula Cakery is a company that offers foods, beverages and services such as baking classes for adults and children. They sells cupcakes, cakes, pie, meals, and various of drinks. They have 2 cafes in Malaysia that located in Kota Kemuning in Shah Alam and IOI City Mall in Putrajaya. It is a corporation-type business where a group of people has separate rights and liabilities from those of the individuals that involved. It is a family type business so the people that involved in the business are only their family members. This type of business is not liable for any debts incurred or judgements handed down against the corporation. Corporations may be able raise additional funds by selling shares in the corporation.
They started in 10 years ago, where a young teenager named Arieni, the Founder, taught herself to bake with the help of her grandmother's recipe book. She started off by selling to friends and family at home and college. After a lot of demand from her customers, she decided to open a café that called ‘Gula Cakery' on the early of 2013.
The purpose on deciding to open this business is to provide the best services, food, and teaching children holistically in terms of baking and cooking. This is because the Founder graduated from bachelors of early childhood education and she have passion towards the children. They also decide to expand their business all around Malaysia so they have wider customer and favorable financing opportunities resulting in increased profitability (Johnson, n.d.).
What they did to maintain their business is by providing the best customer services, new product menu and most importantly, by maintaining their product quality. They have over 200 flavors of cakes/cupcakes to choose from that they changed on a weekly basis. Due to having a kids friendly café, they even provides a safe environment for parents and their kids to enjoy their meals. They provide a small section of kids reading corner and play area. Another unique point about their café is that they have kids baking classes held on the 1st floor in Kota Kemuning branch and the parents can send their children to the classes while enjoying a meal at the café on the ground floor.
They also did a marketing strategy such as promoting their business through Instagram and Facebook. From there, their followers started to increase as they are more people started to recognize their company and because of that, Vivy Yusof, the founder of Fashion Valet bought their brownies and promotes into her social media. After 3 years active in Instagram and Facebook as their marketing tool, they have reached almost 100K followers.
The types of grouping activities that they have is functional grouping. This is where the activities in the company divide their group into different departments based on functions performed and they will have good communication within the department.
For example, Marketing and Finance. Besides, the type of organizational structure is flat structure. The Gula Cakery is a small business so it's suitable for them to use the flat structure as they have fewer levels of management so it easier for them to communicate in making decision.
2.0 Analysis of the stakeholder
A café main stakeholders usually are the suppliers and the customers. They are 4 main suppliers that help Gula Cakery to supply resources to them. The first one is the ‘De Gula Company'. It is a small company where they supply the baking ingredients with an affordable price to bake the cakes and cupcakes and send to Gula Cakery at least three times in a week or as requested.
Secondly, is the ‘Berjaya Holdings'. It is a company that offers kitchen and also baking equipment. The example of kitchen equipment is the oven and stove. The third one is ‘FKF Company'. They are the ones who offers kitchen and café supplies such as plates, bowls, spoons and more. Lastly, is the ‘Classic Coffee Company' where they provide good and high quality coffee beans for the customers.
The customers are also their main stakeholders as they will the one who decides to purchase their product or not and help a business to gain revenue. Gula Cakery's customers are mostly from Kuala Lumpur and their age are around 23-45 years old. Most of the customers that bought their product are 80% ladies and 20% men. The reasons the customers choose their product is because the owner, Arieni, graduated from bachelors of early childhood education, and she have passion towards the children and when she teaches, the knowledge in teaching children helps her to gain a plus point and provides an excellent service towards their customers. Their cake selections are also definitely a unique point as they have over 200 over flavours for customers to choose from and they bake them fresh without preservative.
The last stakeholder would be the employees. Their business have 6 front liners, 4 kitchen crew, 6 bakers assistants, 1 teacher assistant and 4 top management. They hired their employees through social media such as in Instagram and Facebook.
The influence of the suppliers can choose whether to raise costs for orders which can clearly influence a company's benefits. The suppliers effectiveness could influence a business productions. If their orders do not arrive on time, the products will not be ready for shipping to customers. Suppliers can also change their credit terms which may have cash flow issues for a company and they could decide whether or not to allow discounts for bulk orders to the loyal customers (BBC, n.d.).
Meanwhile, the employees can impact the success of a company by their productivity and proficiency in the job, duties and activities that they do regularly. They can also resort to industrial action if they disagree with working conditions, pay or company policies. This could take the form of work to rule, bans on overtime, sit-ins or in extreme cases withdrawal of labour (a strike) (BBC, n.d.). However, the customers can choose to continue purchase the products or stop purchasing them from the company.
3.0 Analysis of the decision-making process
A good decision making process could affect a small business success. The type of decisions that Gula Cakery made is strategic decisions. This is because they not only deal with day to day decisions related on selling, but they also think the bigger pictures based on long term goals which affects the way how the business moves forward. Since they are a small company, all 4 top manangement makes the decisions according to their related department. For example, Arieni, as the founder, she decides what flavor she will bake for certain days according to the demand of her customers to avoid future waste products and resources.
Their decision-making is decentralized. This is due to all the decisions that the top management decides will pass through to the employees to let them agree or disagree to their decisions. So, this will increase the effectiveness of the decisions and allow the employees to react faster that resulted in fast decision-making. This will make their employees more empower and make them feels very important in the company. This will reduce their employees leaving their business. Their employees can gain more knowledges and more experience towards their work and can help giving new ideas to company.
As they involve their employees in decision making , this will resulted that their leadership style is a democratic leadership. Arieni, the founder, gives other top management levels members and her employees to participate in the discussion related to decision-making process. She allows all members to exchange their ideas freely. Although, this leadership style focus on members equality, the owner and other top management still gives guidance towards their employees to help them settle the problem and gives knowledges.
First step on decision-making is by identify the decisions. They identify the issues and problems so that they can make the right decisions. Second step is to gather all the information based on statistics, facts and data according to their business. For example, they compare their monthly revenue between other months so that they can decide what to improve and what to eliminated. Next, decides how to implement the decision-making by finding out what resources are needed and get support from their stakeholders and employees because this will make their plan for effectively.
Lastly, by reviewing the decision that they make. They need to know what they need to improve for the next time and find out what they did well.
As mentioned, their objectives of the Gula Cakery to expand all around Malaysia and provides good services and foods and beverages (F&B) to their customers. They have strength and weakness on operating the business.
Their strength is that they already have many loyal customers as they provide excellent services and friendly-environment to the customers. This is why they can attract many customers. They always take care of their cleanliness of the café. They also located in preferable area where they have a lot of parking spaces for their customers to park. Next, they also offer promotions, such as student will get 20% discount on every Wednesday. The students must show their ID card as a proof.
Meanwhile, their weakness is that their business is not that well-known as they are many people have not heard about their company. They want to achieve wider customers as it can increase their sales and revenue.
There are opportunities for their business due to changes in trends and lifestyles. Like for their café, they provide current trend flavor of their cake such as Red Velvet flavor so this will attract more customers to come to their café. Customers that works probably have their lunch breaks. So by having longer lunch breaks allow them to come to Gula Cakery and buy their products.
Their threat is that they have to compete with other cafes nearby, especially when they have similar types of products and same dining experience. Other threat is that when they sells cakes, but the price of the ingredient rise in the market. So this will cause them to increase their expenses.
Their issues in running the business is mostly related to human resource management. Their food and beverages turnover is very high and to find the right candidate that can provide the best services is definitely a challenge for them. Another challenge is also maintaining the quality of the food and desserts. Customers like high quality products as they want to take care of their health.
The best strategy for their business is to implement market penetration. This would promote their product such as doing advertising and lower their price products. They should reduce their cost so that they achieved their goals which is wider access customers because the customers will choose their business over their competitors due to their low price (Wagner, 2018).This will lead to decreasing in competition especially when they located with nearby cafes such as Dome and Starbucks. As mentioned, their weakness is that they are not well-known enough to reach wider customers so they should let celebrities to promote their product through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook because their fans will notice and check out Gula Cakery's social media and it will resulted in increasing customers/followers.
5.0 Implication of the strategy
Since the business should implement market penetration strategy, the departments such as Finance, Marketing and Research and Development (R&D) should be responsible towards on achieving the strategy.
The marketing department should create posters or banners to promote the business and make sure that the promotions that are up-to-date. In a few organizations, advertising and marketing departments are responsible for organizing occasions, including exhibitions, events, or sales meetings. They plan the logistics of the occasion, reserving exhibition booths or assembly facilities. For instance, they should provide event material, together with brochure or handouts. In addition, they promote outside events to clients and customers to make sure a success attendance (Linton, 2018). They should also monitor and maintain their social media account and investigate their customers review or comments about their problems related to their business so that the business can improve and make sure the problems can be solve (Fetterus, n.d.).
However, the finance department will work with managers to put together the company's budgets and forecasts, and to document back on the development towards these during the year. This information may be used to plan on advertisement, asset purchases and expansions of the business so that Gula Cakery can have stable finance. The finance department is liable for advising and sourcing long term financing. Financing may be received even though bank or non-public lender debt or, in relevant firms, share problems to personal traders. This will allow their business to get loans from the bank (Smythe, 2014). Since the basis of an organization is to make earnings, it is only makes sense when the finance could play a major function in finding ways to improve profitability (Woodruff, 2018). Finance may want to point out ways to enhance productivity in production or discover inexpensive resources of materials. If they can find put cheaper resources, this could beneficial the business by having to spend lower cost to maintain the business.
Lastly, is the Research and Development (R&D) function. By having a café, offering new menu often would be the hardest because they have to research their customers taste and trends. Before a brand new product is developed, the research and development department should conduct a radical study to support the task. The research section consists of determining product specs, manufacturing prices and the manufacturing timeline. The Gula Cakery needs to follow the trends so that customers would be attracted to visit their café. The R&D should do some customer research so that they can understand customer's expectations. The quality is a primary problem and R&D department is deeply concerned in making sure the quality of the latest products are good.
6.0 Evaluation of the sources of information
Information comes from many different sources but this business gives out primary information. primary sources are produced generally through a participant or observer at the time an occasion or development happened (or maybe at a later date). primary sources consist of manuscripts along with letters, diaries, journals, memos. Newspapers, memoirs, and autobiographies also may feature as number one sources. Non-written primary resources is probably taped interviews, movies and videotapes, pictures, furniture, cards, equipment, weapons, homes and other artifacts (uky, n.d.).
The business give their answers in the questionnaires that have sent through email. This will proved that it is a first-hand information. As mentioned, the questionnaires has been sent through email, so this is a written information. This is because the information can be refer back time-to-time and keep it as a record. Written information could also prevent the waste of time and money as you don't need to meet each but also can exchange their opinions.
An incredible company is very important for any business which is making an attempt to achieve success. With an excellent information system, an organization might be well organised, come up with brief solutions and make quicker choices under any situation. The employees may be capable of control all their data and improve the execution of their business processes. information might be saved in a database consisting of information your employees have registered for the company. (Inspired Techs, n.d.).
Their information is very useful as it gives more details on what's going on in their business, it gives us information about their issues that they faced, their strength and their weakness. This is because businesses use up an outstanding deal of attempt to study the dreams of consumers. nearly every business is in a consistent competition to please and maintain customers. One of the great indicators of what people will buy is what they have already bought. However, it is not sufficient for a business to take the sale of a certain item as a hint that it should produce another of the identical component. companies use what purchasing information they could get to examine who's buying what merchandise and why. they'll learn that customers purchase certain things during certain times of year, or in certain parts of the country, or on certain days of the week. they'll examine that a product is more attractive to a certain age group, or to a certain gender, or to people with a certain hair color, or even to an individual man or woman. The listing of any information is probably useful can never be finalized because the tastes and characteristics of customers never stop moving.
In conclusion, the business should implement the market penetration strategy as a way to increase their business popularity and gives access to more customers in wider area for their future achievement and goals. The challenge might be to maintain the business for a continuous development. The source of information is very reliable as it is up-to-date and can help the company to improve their business.
Gula Cakery is not in a very at ease financial position. Improvements in every area of the organization are wanted if the organization is, in the first example, to survive and then grow. The important thing areas of reform are the liquidity of the organization and the amount and quality of working capital, profitability, and economic stability. The management must address these areas simultaneously if the organization is to overcome its present poor record. It has to be remembered that this evaluation is restricted: a more depth of knowledge and evaluation can only arise with the utilization of other sources which includes comparisons with budget forecasts and the declaration of changes in financial position
...(download the rest of the essay above)